Seders & Cigars – A History of Jews in Tampa (2019)
FREE COMMUNITY SCREENING
Seders & Cigars – A History of Jews in Tampa is a story of America. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Jewish immigrants who faced conscription and consequent persecution in Europe came to Tampa – particularly West Tampa and Ybor City – and opened retail businesses to support the demand created by the rapidly expanding cigar industry. Family members and extended family followed one another here in search of a better life.
Like their fellow immigrants from Spain, Italy, Sicily, Cuba, Bavaria, and other parts of the world, the Jewish families who worked in and around the Tampa cigar industry brought with them their own traditions. This included the Seder (say-der), a ritual dinner celebrated every spring to commemorate Passover, the ancient story of the deliverance of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt.
This new documentary by Barbara Rosenthal explores a variety of themes including overcoming quotas on Jewish immigration, the challenge of maintaining extended family bonds in a competitive economic environment, cultural assimilation, the nexus of anti-Semitism and segregation, and the rise of women in politics in Tampa and beyond.
Following the screening, there will be a short discussion and audience Q & A session with the filmmaker, Barbara Rosenthal, who will provide a look into the intrepid world of independent documentary filmmaking.